This coming Saturday, August 8, 2015, is the date of the annual Spider Festival on Antelope Island State Park and there should be plenty of spiders to be seen, almost a bumper crop of them! I was out on the island twice last week and there were spiders nearly everywhere I looked. And of course I had to photograph some of them.
Most of the webs I saw near the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake had plenty of brine flies in them and believe me the spiders won’t even make a dent in the billions of brine flies that there are along the shore of the lake.
The spiders feed on insects that they capture in their webs. I know some people find spiders a bit creepy but they do a lot of good too by eating annoying insects like wasps and the brine flies.
Personally I am more of a lover of the spiders because they are a part of the natural food chain or web. They eat smaller insects and in turn they become food for birds.
There are birds species that nest on the island that bring the spiders to their young to eat. But even they don’t make a huge dent in the number of spiders on the island.
And those smaller birds are consumed by the raptors that prey on them. So the next time you see a Prairie Falcon or an American Kestrel on the island you just might want to thank the spiders for being a critical part of the food web. The Antelope Island Spiders creep some people out but I appreciate them for being a part of why the island is so birdy.
Mark your calendars for the 8th of August if you would like to learn more about the spiders on Antelope Island at the festival! Activities start at 11 am and go until 6 pm. For more information call (801) 721-9569.
Life is good.